Austria announces national lockdown as Covid cases surge


Austrian police officers check a man’s identity and vaccination certificate during a control in Voesendorf, district Moedling, Austria, on November 16, 2021.

Hans Punz | AFP | Getty Images

Austria will enter a fourth national lockdown on Monday as Covid-19 cases continue to surge.

The country’s unvaccinated are already barred from leaving their homes for non-essential purposes.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced at a press conference on Friday that those lockdown measures would be extended to the entire country from Monday.

The lockdown would last for a maximum of 20 days, Schallenberg said.

He also announced that Covid vaccination would become mandatory in Austria from Feb. 1.

On Thursday, Austria recorded 15,145 new cases of Covid-19, setting a new record high for daily positive tests.

Around 65% of Austria’s population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, which Schallenberg has previously described as “shamefully low.” The country has the second-lowest vaccination rate in western Europe after Liechtenstein.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that government ministers were negotiating into the early hours of Friday to come up with action that could help curb Austria’s spiraling Covid crisis.



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